Faith over Fear Fail?


Faith over fear.

How many times have I said that over the past few weeks?

Probably hundreds, if not more. I even have a cross in my yard that proclaims it to the whole neighborhood.

But full transparency, this morning as I continued to struggle with not feeling all that well physically, compounded by the emotional stress of the world we live in right now, I found myself worrying again.

Faith over fear? Yeah, right.

I’m a liar, I thought to myself.

I really, really suck, I told myself.

Here I am proclaiming faith over fear and, some days–maybe even most days—I let fear deliver me a knockout blow without even putting up a fight. Nothing.

Hell, somedays, I’m not even pushing back.

And, then, I heard God’s sweet, sweet whisper deep in my spirit.

Believing as I do that He often whispers just so we have to really lean in, I closed my eyes and opened my heart ready to receive.

This, my friends, is what I heard.

“In this world you WILL have trouble, but, take heart, for I have overcome the world!”

Child, you are human and are prone to trying to maintain control. When you can’t control what is going on around you, or even inside you, you become fearful. And, fear, is Satan’s most powerful weapon. With it, he knows he can lead you astray and the tailspin begins.

You MUST resist him.

Anytime you feel fearful or out of control, you must STOP and recognize it for what it is–the enemy crossing the battle lines into My territory, into your heart.

Now, understand, Child, that I have the last say and everything is within My power. However, I will not stop something you invite in; things which you allow. I gave you free will and I will not ever take that away.

You MUST take captive every fearful thought, every fearful dart that is launched at you. This means anytime you feel anxiety or fear or anytime you catch yourself trying to figure out your situation and take control, STOP and whisper My name out loud. And, keep whispering it. I promise you, if you do this, Satan will have no choice but to flee, dropping every weapon formed against you at My feet.

And, one more thing. You have not failed, because you have allowed fear to temporarily squelch your faith. You are human and all humans, even those who have accepted Me as their Lord and Savior, still have to be reminded to trust Me, especially when trouble comes.

I have you in the palm of My hand, child. Keep leaning in and remember to combat every fearful thought with the whisper of My name. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. I promise you that, just as I have overcome the world, your faith in Me will overcome your fears.

Every time, without fail.

faith over fear

Oh, my, thank you, Lord, for always coming to my rescue and gently correcting me where the enemy tries to condemn me. I love and praise You, Father, for who You are, not just to me, but to the entire world. Faith over fear.  Because of You, I know we’ve got this. Jesus for the WIN!

Amen and Ehmen.

The Day In Between


Writer’s Note: Today, amid all the pain and uncertainty of the coronavirus, I feel, more than ever, that we are living in the “day in between”, a day of seeming silence on the trouble that commands our attention; a day, which if allowed to remain grounded in fear, will continue to be crippling. Yes, we are battling an unseen enemy and, though we have dubbed this enemy COVID19, I believe in my heart of hearts that it is the same unseen enemy that we have battled all along, Satan. He’s sifting us, y’all. But, I truly believe, in the deepest reaches of my soul, that Sunday is coming and Jesus Christ, our resurrected Savior and Miracle Maker, has another HUGE Miracle in store for us all. Spend this Saturday sitting high atop a foundation of trust in what tomorrow brings…a day of true joy and hope for the world! And, remember, it all started with HIM, but it continues with us….spread The Word! Sunday is coming! 

The Day In Between

It’s sometimes called Holy Saturday, the Great Sabbath, Black Saturday and Easter Eve. But what is today, really?

Well, I think today—the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday—is just that,jesus on cross the day in between.

The silent day that lay mournfully and mysteriously between the brutal crucifixion of our Lord and Savior and His joyous resurrection. The day between a promise and its fulfillment.

I can’t even begin to imagine how those who loved and followed Jesus must have felt on this day; just hours before having watched as God’s own promise hung tethered to a rugged cross; bloody; lifeless; hopeless.

I just can’t even imagine how they felt when the world’s only hope that God Himself had so lovingly poured into the flesh of a baby more than three decades prior was taken down from the cross, a crumpled and shattered shell; breathless; dead.

Oh the grief, the fear, and the sense of loss they must have felt. Their friend and Messiah was gone and laying in a tomb; his bruised and battered body as well as their hopes and dreams swaddled in burial clothes and sealed in darkness.

I just can’t even imagine.

But, wait, you might say. What about the miracle of Jesus’ birth and all the miracles and prophecies fulfilled throughout Jesus’ life on earth? What about all the wonders—the feeding of thousands from a single lunch; the healings; the raising of Lazarus from the dead? Can you even imagine how in the world the men and women who witnessed these miracles could even spend one day doubting, grieving, hiding, scattered, and scared?

You know, at first I couldn’t imagine it at all. That is, until I realized that we live in this same place every day.

We live in the in-between day, suspended between the promise and the fulfillment and, just like the disciples and those who knew Jesus as a man, we doubt; we grieve; we hide; we scatter; and we certainly fear. We, too, search for hope in a dark world. We, too, sometimes lose our trust that God can make something holy and beautiful and good out of a world that often looks more like hell than the creation of a good God. We wonder how or even if He will bring beauty and order to a universe spiraling out of control. We, too, have moments of doubt. Or least I know I do.

But, thank God, for tomorrow; for Easter Sunday and the empty tomb which has become an everlasting symbol of a promise fulfilled; the rebirth of hope for all the generations to come; for the disciples; for the early churches, for all our descendants and for you and for me.

Thank God for His promise of everlasting life which eternally lives in the breath of His one and only son, Jesus Christ, and for the unyielding sacrifice Jesus made so that we can enjoy that promise just by believing in Him. I believe in Him and I hope that you do, too.

And, if you are still just checking the whole Jesus thing out, I pray that He will open your heart and eyes so that you, too, can take part in the miracle of Easter and the promise of everlasting life. God loves you. He always has and always will. You are His child and he really wants to have a relationship with you. But, you have to do something. You have to take the step and ask Him into your heart. He is not going to do it without an invitation from you. You yourself have to acknowledge that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and that he died on the cross so that you can have eternal life. You yourself have to accept Him and invite Him into your heart.

When you’re ready, you just have to say a prayer something like this. It doesn’t have to be word for word and you don’t even have to understand it all. And you certainly don’t have to be perfect, for no one on earth is perfect. Just say something like this:

“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me for my sins. I believe that your son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died to pay for my sins and I trust Him now as my personal Lord and Savior. I ask Him to come into my life. Amen.”

It’s that simple. If you pray this prayer and truly accept the Lord Jesus as your personal savior, you can be assured of going to heaven. No matter what you have done on earth; no matter what you did in your past, you will be reborn and resurrected and headed for everlasting life alongside the Almighty Creator, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Oh, my, what a way to celebrate this day in between! Congratulations and welcome to the family! Amen and Ehmen! And Happy, Happy Easter! 🙂

Silence atop fear is crippling

And The Word of God Says:

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (NIV)

Romans 1:4-5 And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. Romans 6:8-11 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Philippians 3:10-12 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (NIV)

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… (NIV)

Matthew 27:50-53 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (NIV)

Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (NIV)

Mark 16:1-8 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “

Immeasurable, Infinite and Ours


This post has garnered a little extra attention from website visitors recently and, after rereading it, I decided it was time to repost at the top of my newsfeed. His love for us blows me away…

 

January 3, 2015 6:35 AM

Dear Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning to draw me closer to dear godyou and to remind me just how wide, how long, how high and how deep your love is for me; for all of us. I have admittedly distanced myself off and on over these past few months as I have struggled quietly and internally with the changes in my world. I know that I am not immune to suffering, yet when I need you most, I sometimes do exactly what I have always reminded others not to do. I pull away. I don’t seek your face. I try to live in my own power. At times, I have been swallowed by doubt; not disbelief in you, but doubt that your promises are really for me; that your healing and comfort are for me; that I can really find joy in fulfilling my purpose and that I even have the tools to do so. I have continued to live in fear that my health will not hold up, that I will be stripped of what I have before I am able to finish what you started in me. I don’t want to live in fear anymore, Lord. I need you today more than ever. In this moment and in every moment that I draw breath on this earth. Come closer than ever, Father. Settle into my heart and deep into my soul. Send your Holy Spirit and allow Him to intermingle with my spirit. Speak to me. Comfort me. Heal me. Empower me. Use me. I love you with all my being, my dear Father, and I want nothing more than to please you. Keep me focused on you, Lord. Please. It is in Your One and Only Son’s Name that I pray. Amen and Ehmen.

Oh my dear, dear child,

I do love you so and I’ve missed our whole-heart time together. Just know that, regardless of whether you sit with Me in front of this page or not, I AM with you, always until the end of time and until such time that you are with Me in Heaven. I led you to Ephesians 3 this morning because, until the latter happens, I need you to truly understand the full breadth, length, height and depth of My love for you.

My love reaches across the width of all of time and space; from the heavens to all corners of the earth, covering all expanses and all people who live today and who have or will ever live; and that, of course, includes you right now where you are.

My love expands across the lengths of eternity. It started long before you were born, even before creation itself, and will continue forevermore.

My love reaches high into the heavens. It is infinite. It is with you at the heights of your life; in your elations and your celebrations.

My love delves deep, deeper than any pit of discouragement or despair in which you could ever linger and even deeper still. The fact is, my child, nothing, not even death can take my love from you for I HAVE DEFEATED DEATH in Jesus’ name…all so that your name could be written in the Book of Life.

If you never grasp anything else, I need you to grasp this. And by grasp, I don’t mean grab and hold on, but to understand; to truly understand, My blessed one, that once you have invited Me into your heart, you don’t have or need to do anything to hold onto My love. It is My love instead that holds onto you…for eternity.

Lay your doubts down, My child, and bask in my never-ending, unyielding love today. Don’t try to measure it, because you can’t. Just experience it; live in it; and let it live in you so that others will be drawn to Me and My Kingdom will be made complete. Go forth—go wide, go long, go high, go deep— to share this Good News to those around you; the Good News that they don’t have do anything to gain or hold My love; for, through belief in my son, Jesus Christ, they and My love will live on forever and beyond.

And, the Word of God says in Ephesians, Chapter 3, Verses 14-21:

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Oh, dear God. Amen and Ehmen! Thank you for the endless love and never-ending reminders. I guess I can’t hear it enough and I thank you for being willing to keep telling me over and over and over again.

Can I get an Amen and Ehmen!???? Have a blessed day knowing that you are LOVED! 🙂

The Ultimate Valentine


be-mine-heart-for-amenandehmen

Whether you are single or paired on this Valentine’s Day, this is a day we celebrate the very heartbeat of God: LOVE!

Remember what Jesus told us in Matthew 22: 34-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

And, as far as Valentine’s go, you can’t get any sweeter or more perfect than our precious and glorious Lord who loves us beyond compare, without condition, forever and ever. And He’s all yours for the asking.

If you haven’t yet, why not today? The day of LOVE.

Just say something like this:

“Lord, I don’t necessarily understand it all and I’m not sure what to do next, but I do believe in You and that You love me so much that you sent your one and only son, Jesus, so that we all could be forgiven of our sins and have everlasting life. I believe He died on the cross for me, to save me. You did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I come to You now and ask You to take control of my life. I give it to You. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.

Lord, will you be my Valentine?”

Amen and Ehmen.

And a Happy Hearts Day to all! Much love from http://www.amenandehmen.com.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John, 3:16

 

The Doctor is In.


Note: My work high-jacked all my time and energy again, but now that I have a moment, I wanted to post the last two days of my 7-day commitment to spend time with God every morning. Though it was a long 85-hour work week and it was extremely tough on me physically at times, I can honestly say that this extra focused time on God helped carry me through with spirits intact. He is the Great Physician. Looking forward to continuing to connect with Him on the written page. Be blessed.

February 7, 2017

7:00 AM

Dear God, it is Day 6 of my commitment to meet you here daily for seven consecutive days. Unfortunately, I only have about 30 minutes this morning as I have to get to the office. Fortunately, I dear godknow that I can learn and do more in just a few minutes with you versus years without you. You are incredible and I am happy that you are in my life and in me. This morning, God, I pray to you about the way I’m feeling physically. Please help me to bring all things going on in my body back into order. My week ahead for work is intense as you know and it will be very difficult to maneuver it feeling like this. I love you, dear God, and it is in your son’s name that I pray. Amen and Ehmen.

Dear Child,

I’m sorry you are not feeling well, but you have come to the right place. You live in a fallen world and your body is susceptible to all kinds of undesirable things. But, as long as you stay close to me, I will help you navigate even the most menacing of them. Healing, my child, comes in many forms. Sometimes I simply wipe out the illness as you, yourself, have experienced. Sometimes I use medicines and physicians. Sometimes it is immediate and sometimes it takes time, as I know you have also experienced. Your job is to believe, to trust in me, and be thankful in both cases. Trust, dear child, is an area that you struggle with and that is okay. As long as you come to me, I will continue to teach you as long as it takes. We are in this together. You must always remember that.

  Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
“For I am with you

 

A Bittersweet Love Story


Dear God, as I continue to reflect on this Easter season, I ask that you help the words flow dear godfrom the deepest recesses of my soul, the inner places where You dwell in all Your holiness and righteousness. Thank you for sending Your son and for Him taking on human suffering and death just so that we could live with You forever. I am overwhelmed by Your grace and love for me and, though I am eternally sorry for my sins and shortcomings, I am eternally grateful for Your grace and forgiveness and, most especially, your gift of salvation, wrapped in the arms of Jesus and presented to us freely. All we have to do is believe and accept, both of which I do, wholeheartedly. Thank you, Jesus, for what You endured; for Your obedience to the Father, no matter what; and for making a way for me. May I become more and more like You as the seconds and minutes tick past. I don’t want to waste any more time. Help me to stay focused on Your will and purpose. Father, Your will be done, on earth and in me, just as it is in Heaven. Amen and Ehmen.

A Bittersweet Love Story

As His son hung on the cross, bloodied by the hands of man and scoffed at by the evil and lost, God was certainly saddened in the moment—saddened by the state of His creation that brought everything down to this very moment. A moment perhaps best described as a necessary evil and one that would change the destiny of humankind forever; a new and jesus on crossfoolproof way for the very ones that were created in God’s own image to live forever in His Presence. It was and is the invitation of all invitations and it is extended to each and every one of us.

As one who has accepted that invitation, this Easter season finds my heart and mind naturally harkening back to the pivotal events that would forevermore open Heaven’s doorway to the likes of me and you; to sinners saved by grace and grace alone.

Yes, it was part of God’s plan that His Son would die on that cross so that we could live forever in His Presence. But, though it was always a part of His plan, doesn’t mean that it was easy. Jesus, though the Son of God, was fully a man, born to a human mother and into flesh and body just like you and me. He needed air and food just like us and he felt pain like us as well. And the cross undoubtedly created agonizing, horrific pain–pain which He in no way deserved, but humbly accepted out of pure love for us. Which one of us is not heartbroken that he had to endure such torture for us? But, at the same time, who could not be completely filled and overjoyed that he did it so that we could dwell in the presence of our Lord forever?

To me, it is indeed the epitome of a bittersweet love story; that right there in the middle of the cross where God’s heart hung in the balance, wrath and judgement met mercy and lost and found imageforgiveness and our invitation to dwell with Him forever was permanently engraved and then sealed with the blood of His one and only son and our sweet, sweet Savior.

Thank you, sweet Jesus. Thank you. May my life be a testament of my undying gratitude and may Your Glory shine through me until the day I, too, take my last breath on earth. Amen and Ehmen!

The Tree That Couldn’t Leave…


christmas tree art

I’m always reluctant to take down my Christmas tree. Needle-less to say, there have been some years where I could practically vacuum it up. I seem to be heading that way again this year.

I just love the smell and the twinkling lights; not to mention the ornaments that tell the story of a half a century of Christmas’ past. I love the angel that stands guard atop the tree and the faded, but jolly old Santa that has been the first ornament on the tree every year since I was old enough to help decorate. I love the color and the vibrancy.

But, most of all, I love what the tree stands for; the season that it celebrates. Sometimes I imagine that on that night over 2,000 years ago when God sent his own son into this world as a tiny little baby, that the stars fell from the heavens just so they could be closer to Him. Like snowflakes, they fell gently upon the trees, lighting each branch in love, awe and celebration.

Yes, I sure wish I could just leave it up all year; but I know that eventually, it will have to come down. Today is not that day, however. And, for that reason, I can’t help but smile. Merry Christmas to all and to all a happy and healthy 2016!

 

It’s an Expectation Situation…


Just like most of the world, I find that my dear friend and I are struggling with things. Different things, but things just the same. While talking the other day, I told her that I think many of our struggles and disappointments come from expectations. Having expectations of people, places and things. When they don’t measure up to what we have created in our minds, we are let down and we struggle. And, often times, we wallow.

But, today, I have been thinking that perhaps this isn’t the problem at all. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not our expectations which create the problem. Maybe, just maybe, it’s that our expectations fall short. They are too small; not near big enough. The fact is, God has promised us eternal life in the most beautiful, most peaceful place; a place so incredible that it is beyond human imagination. And, as children of God, we are told to EXPECT this promise to come true; to live with expectation of this very promise.

But to all who did receive him,

Lord, I ask that you help those of us who struggle with this expectation problem; who let things and expectations, small in comparison, distract us from the only expectation that really matters…eternal life with You. Even when things seem to be falling apart; even when things and life as we know it, have already fallen apart, we are incredibly and indescribably blessed. You sent Your son for us and Your son, not willing to take the easy way out, lived and walked on this same earth that we walk. He then died a criminal’s death…all for us. Thank you for giving us such ultimate expectation and hope. We ask that you continue to bear with us as we stumble along the journey to You. Please keep reminding us that when we can’t see, hear or feel you, it’s not that you aren’t there. It’s simply that we need to refocus our expectations. We love you. Amen and Ehmen.

Leaving a Blessing


As the temperatures cool and the world sports the colors of the Thanksgiving season, it’s always nice to take pause and thank God for our many blessings. And there is so very much to be thankful for. Leaves, for example. Starting as a tiny bud, new leaves spring forth around Easter time each year, literally breathing life into the world, not only preserving our very existence, but also providing us shade along the way. Indeed, every single leaf has an important, life-giving, life-preserving job. Perhaps that is why God gives them such a beautiful and colorful exit every fall. This year, as the leaves around you burst into an array of breath-taking colors, take a moment to thank God for them. And as they take their final bows, falling from the trees carried by the gentle winds of November, send up a bountiful round of applause straight from earth’s stage to Heaven’s ears.